10 Famous Christian Businessmen
Some people would say that God is against prosperity, but these ten famous Christian businessmen would disagree. In fact, they would likely attribute their prosperity to their faith in God and their Christian values and work ethic. In alphabetical order, here are the most well known Christian business leaders, past and present.
- David Green (1941- ) This American entrepreneur is the founder of Hobby Lobby, a national chain of arts and crafts stores. "Forbes" magazine included him in the Forbes 400, a list of America’s wealthiest citizens, in 2009. Green built his business on biblical principles and attributes his success to his faith in God.
- Henry J. Heinz (1844-1919) The founder of the H. J. Heinz Company, an American food company, was a nineteenth century Christian businessman. The Heinz Company, famous for its ketchup and "57 Varieties" slogan, was built on the founder’s business acumen and Christian principles.
- Conrad Hilton (1887-1979) The American hotelier and founder of the Hilton Hotels chain is another famous Christian businessman. Hilton based his business and philanthropic philosophy on his most enduring influences—his parents and the Catholic Church. According to literature from the Conrad Hilton Foundation, his mother often reminded him that prayer was his best investment.
- S. Truett Kathy (1921- ) The founder and chairman of Chick-Fil-A, the national fast service restaurant chain, attributes his accomplishments to operating his business on biblical principles. His sense of obligation to the community and its youth also drive his approach. He enjoys helping young people through various scholarships and youth programs.
- James L. Kraft (1874-1953) This Canadian-born entrepreneur and inventor was the first person to patent processed cheese. He and his four brothers established Kraft Foods, Inc., the largest American food and beverage corporation, and the second largest in the world. Kraft supported the Baptist Church and encouraged religious education for young people.
- Robert G. LeTourneau (1888-1969) LeTourneau was an American businessman, inventor, and academic. His inventions include engineering vehicles and earthmoving equipment, and he had nearly 300 patents. He and his wife founded a Christian university in Texas, and he was well known as a generous philanthropist to Christian causes. His colleagues called him "God’s businessman."
- Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884) This American inventor founded the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which became part of International Harvester Company in the early 1900s. He also invented the reaper. McCormick died at 75, after living as an invalid for four years. According to one biographical sketch, his last words were, "It’s all right. I only want Heaven."
- James C. Penney (1875-1971) This American businessman and entrepreneur founded the J.C. Penney stores in the early 1900s. His large income allowed for his involvement in many philanthropic causes. The 1929 stock market crash halted his work, and the Great Depression left him in financial ruin. His financial setbacks affected his health, and he checked into a sanitarium. After hearing the hymn, "God Will Take Care of You," Penney became a Christian. He eventually recovered financially and continued his involvement in charitable works.
- Sam Walton (1918-1992) This American businessman and entrepreneur is best known for founding the Wal-Mart retail stores. With his strong Christian background based on ethics and hard work, Walton excelled in school, college, and business. Early in his career, he served as a management trainee for J. C. Penney. He owned a chain of Ben Franklin five-and-dime stores before opening the first Wal-Mart in Arkansas, in an effort to market American-made products at affordable prices.
- Hilary "Zig" Ziglar (1926- ) This American author and salesman became a full-time motivational speaker in 1970, incorporating his strong Christian values into his enthusiastic messages. He wrote a book titled "God’s Way is Still the Best Way" in 2007.